A Special Needs Trust is a type of trust that is often used to preserve a lump sum benefit for a low income disabled person under age 65, who needs the support of Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Often one thinks of the these trusts in connection with someone who is on SSI because they are disabled and have not worked, such as a person with developmental disabilities or psychiatric disabilities that have prevented them from being fully engaged in the workforce over time.
However, some workers who did pay into the Social Security system become disabled as a result of a workplace injury, but because they were very low earners or didn’t work very long, the amount of their Social Security Disability benefit is smaller than the SSI amount and they will therefore require the additional support from SSI. Medicaid eligibility for health insurance comes along with the SSI. The lump sum settlement which they receive upon resolution of the Workers Compensation claim would constitute “excess resources” that would make them ineligible for the SSI and Medicaid. Also, the monthly payment would be treated as unearned income, which would reduce the SSI payment dollar-for-dollar.
This is where a Special Needs Trust comes in. You should contact a Matrium Law Group attorney by calling (406) 552-7814 or by filling out this form, so that we can help you set up the Special Needs Trust before the payment is made. Matrium Law Group is a law firm located in Missoula, Montana. Matrium Law Group's attorneys help special needs clients throughout the state of Montana.
The Special Needs Trust funds will be used to supplement, but not supplant, the means-tested benefits.